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Avalanche, it’s a sleeping giant in the snow, waiting below the surface like a troll under the bridge. Be on top of your game this winter. Avoid avalanche danger at all costs, and be prepared.


What stands 11,749’ high, has a heart, a saddle, an emerald, a shack, and some goats? If you’ve been in Heber for even a short time, you’ll know the valley’s pride lies in the great mountain that sprawls to the west where the sun settles each night. Mount Timpanogos creates a portion of the eastern wall of the Wasatch Front. Often folks claim we, here in Heber, reside on the backside of the great Timpanogos. We’d like to beg their pardon. They happen to be discombobulated, not realizing that we have the front seat to…

With Liberty And Access For All

The Right To Roam Looking out across the beautiful, expansive Heber Valley, there is still a predominance of green fields and open space. Although housing growth is exploding in some areas of Wasatch County, the Wasatch Back, overall, still has much lower building density than the Wasatch Front. Open space is a widely discussed topic here. A majority of Heber Valley residents have indicated a strong desire to protect open space. It’s an important issue. However, public access to those spaces is a topic that is often…

The Western Uintas

A couple and their two kiddos stand on the summit of Bald Mountain — located in the Uinta Mountains, Northeast of Heber, just off of the Mirror Lake Highway. At ground level, the mountain appears to be just a pile of boulders, but from the family’s elevation of 11,947 feet, the magnificent peak offers incredible views. With big smiles, the children point at distant, abrupt mountains wrapped in cliff bands. Everything around them is visible. Looking past Mirror Lake far below, they spy the Duchesne River drainage filled with…

The Provo River

By Karyn Bates Anderson “A river is more than an amenity; it is a treasure. It offers a necessity of life that must be rationed among those who have power over it.” A RIVER RUNS THROUGH IT This statement by Oliver Wendall Holmes Jr. (Former Associate Justice of the US Supreme Court) is as true today as it was in 1922. Of all the majestic landforms in the Heber Valley the Provo River, flowing silently along, yet changing everything in its path, is a significant game-changer. The river is a consistent and necessary…

Heber Valley Railroad

The giants of Heber Valley Railroad were sleeping the day I visited them. Standing in majesty, quietly waiting for another day when the crowds would throng to join them on the platform. Grand engines and breathtaking cars rested silently in the yard as soft snow settled around them. Mount Timpanogos stood like a sentinel on the west, smiling down gently on the railroad yard, a friend of many years. In the calm, I imagine the distant echoing of times past and future; excited crowds awaiting their turn to present their ticket…

Dark Skies

Heber Valley – it’s not only a breath of fresh air but also a growing city where one can still see trillions of stars. In our heavenly mountains, views are priceless. Most of them require the sunlight to see: the Wasatch Mountains, Deer Creek, and acre after acre of open pastures. What happens when the sun sets? Then what view draws our gaze? When were the Big Dipper and the Milky Way discussed as treasured views from the valley floor? I can step out onto my lawn in central Heber and look up to see both of these on cold,…

Representing In A Big Way

There is no question that the 2002 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games has had a lasting impact on Utah residents. Was it the sense of pride in welcoming the world with open arms? Perhaps it was the unprecedented positive economic impact? Maybe it was the tears of joy and excitement we shared as our athletes won medal after medal. Or, maybe it was the little tug we felt in our hearts each time the national anthem played as our athletes stood in honor on the podium. In a recent conversation with Courtland Nelson,…

7 Family-Friendly Fall Activities

There’s a lot to love about the Heber Valley in the fall. From cool, crisp mornings and stunning fall colors, to annual fall traditions that make our valley unique, here are seven fun activities your entire family will “fall” for. Heber Valley Railroad Pumpkin Train The “Heber Creeper” is a classic Heber Valley attraction. In the fall, be sure to take a ride on the annual Pumpkin Train, which includes a 40-minute train ride through the beautiful Heber Valley landscape, entertainment by costumed characters

Horse Country

“Stop. Watch. What is Custom saying to you when he flicks his ears like that?” My daughter Hadley listens to trainer Jeanie’s counsel, carefully analyzes the Quarter Horse Gelding’s body language and adjusts her actions. Custom hesitatingly approaches and once a mutual understanding of trust is reached, he closely follows her through a series of companionship interactions. Her slightest motion, he responds in perfect symmetry. It is synchronized dancing under the North Fields’ autumn sky.  Hadley has

Make A Splash On The Reservoir This Summer

I remember being little and sitting on the mesh trampoline between the two hulls of my older brother’s catamaran. Looking out onto the rippled water of Deer Creek Reservoir, it was an experience I could not appreciate as I do now. Above me was the mainsail, full of wind. We were moving swiftly across the water. With me were my nephews; it was their father who was at the helm. We all had crew duties — on a sailing vessel everyone is employed and there are no idle hands. From time to time, I see others sailing on Deer

Patriot Camp

pa-tri-ot (noun) a person who passionately supports their country and is prepared to defend it against enemies or detractors. A Summertime Tradition Summertime is a kid’s paradise filled with popsicles, picnics, flip flops, fireworks, barbeques, ballgames and vacations. For many Utah families, Patriot Camp has been added to that iconic summertime list. Patriot Camp was started in Pennsylvania by a group of ambitious moms who wanted to teach their children more about our country’s founding and freedoms.

Active Transportation

(n): a form of transportation of people and sometimes goods that only uses the physical activity of the human being for the locomotion. I laid the question down for my friend Eric. “What was it like riding your bike everywhere for a year and a half around Heber?” “I got super fit!” he answered with a grin. “I would ride to work, then grab some groceries, and after dropping the groceries at the house, go mountain biking at Coyote Canyon.” Eric more or less set the bar for getting around by bicycle. He

Gear: Ready to Go When You Are

I pulled out my water filter, started pumping, and realized no water was filling my bottle. Somehow, it was just moving air! Turns out, the filter cartridge had cracked. I was now stuck deep in the Wasatch Range with no water. What we do outside is not about the gear. Admittedly, though, gear can make or break an outing. If you left your bike pump in the garage and are already at the trailhead with under-inflated tires, it might leave you scrambling for a way to salvage the ride. If you hiked six miles down Uinta’s

Heber Valley’s Greatest High-Flying Adventure

“You’re doing what?” my incredulous sister-in-law exclaimed when I told her I was going to fly in a North American T-6 Texan. “Is this part of a crazy bucket list?” “Not really. It just sounds like fun,” I responded but I soon learned that flying in one of the most iconic aircrafts in U.S. military history is the bucket list item I never knew I had. The Golden Age of aviation is alive and well at the Heber Valley Airport, thanks to the Utah Wing of the Commemorative Air Force (CAF) Museum, dedicated to the

Soldier Hollow Nordic Center Preparing For Biggest Event Since ’02 Olympics

Park City is preparing to host the cities largest sporting event since the 2002 Winter Olympics, that event of course being the FIS World Championships the first week of February. Meanwhile the Soldier Hollow Nordic Center is also preparing for it’s largest sporting event since the ’02 Olympics. The International Biathlon Union World Cup makes nine stops during the season. For the first time the tour is including a stop at Soldier Hollow. The event takes place the weekend before president’s day February 14-17th and will

Know Before You Snow

Safe backcountry skiing starts with weeks of weather watching. I follow the wind and the moving snow. I watch the mountain weather stations to understand what is happening where I like to ski. I take note of the observations, forecasts and advisories offered by the Utah Avalanche Center. I make my plan only after I have determined where I can ski safely. It snowed last night. The sun is coming up and I’m high above the Heber Valley. I’m with my ski buddies, out for a backcountry ski tour. We’re on alert for avalanches…

Winning at Winter

Slipping down the Soldier Hollow tubing hill at an ever-faster speed, I couldn’t help but giggle. I had never sat in a tube and gone so fast! Friends were hooting and hollering and the night was a riot. Like children drawn to birthday cake, we made our way back to the top for another serving. I made five laps that night, each its own brand of winter fun. While we live in a mecca for winter sports and activities, many of us aren’t “winter” people. For some, the thought of tearing up the backcountry on a pair of skis is as…

There’s Something Fishy Going On

In spite of previous efforts to manage the Jordanelle fishery, the stocked rainbow trout returns have been in a steady decline since 2004 and sit below the state averages in both creel and gillnet studies. The population of smallmouth bass is seemingly stable; however, these fish tend to experience an unexplained stunted growth rate after the age of two. The result of these two variables is that angler usage has decreased and citizens are not using this state-managed resource to its fullest potential. The Jordanelle…

Summit Safety

In the beautiful Heber Valley, we have the good fortune of looking out the door and viewing some of the greatest mountains in our part of the state. Looking southwest, we can see the great Mount Timpanogos, named for a Ute princess who fell asleep on top of the range. Looking west up the Snake Creek drainage, we can see the white rocks that make up the backside of Big and Little Cottonwood Canyons. And to the east, we’ll find the behemoth mountains of the Uintas. Living in this idyllic valley of ours, we have all heard…

Trail Running

Trail running is exactly what it sounds like: running on hiking trails. This endurance sport usually provides more elevation change and challenging terrain than your typical workout — especially compared to street or track running. Heber Valley resident Steve Frogley didn’t start out as a runner. “I didn’t run cross country, I didn’t run high school or college track. I hated running,” he says. It wasn’t until his late 20s when he decided to add cardio to his workout routine that he realized he actually enjoyed running.…

Dog Days of Summer

“Come By.” “Away To Me.” “That’ll Do.” Sound familiar? These are just a few of the commands sheepdog handlers often use while herding. Throughout history, wherever there have been sheep, mankind has used dogs to help corral them. Quick as a whip, smart enough to follow commands and gentle enough to not harm the sheep, these dogs have performed herding duties for centuries. As handlers spend countless hours training their dogs to precision, it’s only natural that they’d want show off all of that hard work. As early as the…

Search And Rescue

The Wasatch Back is a beautiful place adorned with a plethora of activities and destinations for the outdoor adventurer. Whether you’re a seasoned local or a new visitor to the area, you are likely to find yourself drawn to recreate in these great outdoors.

A Fly Fisher’s Guide to Spring

If you’re waiting for warmer weather before you get out your pole and fly box, you’re missing out on some great fly fishing! Summer is popular for fishing because there are a lot of hatches and fishers can use bigger flies, but spring has several of its own great hatches, too. It’s also the first time of the year you can start catching fi sh on top of the water with a dry fly, rather than nymph fishing below the surface.

Extreme Skier Meets Cowboy

What do you get when an extreme skier partners up with a cowboy and his horse? It’s called skijoring. Never heard of it? Skijoring has actually been around for centuries. The Norweigan phrase translated means ski driving or driving with skis.

Happy Trails to You

The most desirable communities found in the United States have one thing in common — trails. Heber City is no different. As the third fastest growing city in the United States for its size, the area offers an amazing 150 miles of trails to hikers, bikers, horseback riders, bird watchers and anyone who wants to enjoy the outdoors. As people continue to move into the valley, the number of trails will increase as well. “As our population grows, there will be more trails; the trails will be more diversified and get more use,”…

Trail Etiquette

PLAN AHEAD Check out rules and regulations for the area. Take a map and plan your trip before you go. Let someone know where you are going and when you plan to return. Prepare for all types of weather. Take plenty of water and sunscreen. BE CONSIDERATE Be courteous and yield to other trail users. When encountering equestrians, step to the downhill side of the trail. Avoid making sudden movements or loud noises. STAY ON THE TRAIL Stay on designated trails. Do not cut switchbacks. DISPOSE OF WASTE PROPERLY Pack it in,…